WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump spent five days in Asia largely keeping the Alabama Senate scandal at bay. He won’t be so lucky on US soil.

The president returned to Washington on Tuesday night and walked straight into a party panic over the sexual misconduct accusations dogging GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore. Having pushed publicly and privately for Moore to get out of the race, Republicans believe their last best shot is Trump, who they hope can persuade his fellow political rebel to fall in line.

Trump has given little indication of whether he’s interested in playing the role of party heavy. Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has echoed other Republican leaders, saying last Friday that Moore should step aside if the allegations are true. But as other Republicans began to call for Moore to quit the race, Trump was notably silent in public. On Tuesday, he didn’t address the issue when he spoke with reporters aboard Air Force One as he flew back to…

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